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The Hausmann-Gorky Effect

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Abstract

For over a century, legal scholars have debated the question of what to do about the debts incurred by despotic governments; asking whether successor non-despotic governments should have to pay them. That debate has gone nowhere. This paper examines whether an Op Ed written by Harvard economist, Ricardo Hausmann, in May 2017, may have shown an alternative path to the goal of increasing the cost of borrowing for despotic governments. Hausmann, in his Op Ed, had sought to produce a pricing penalty on the entire Venezuelan debt stock by trying to shame JPMorgan into removing Venezuelan bonds from its emerging market index. JPMorgan did not comply, but there was a pricing penalty. Intriguingly, the penalty hit only one bond; an issue by Venezuela’s state-owned oil company that went on the market two days prior to the Hausmann’s piece. That bond then began to carry the name in the market of “Hunger Bond.” Using quantitative data and interviews with investors, we try to understand the causes of the Hunger Bond penalty and ask whether there are lessons for policy makers.

Suggested Citation

  • Mitu Gulati & Ugo Panizza, 2018. "The Hausmann-Gorky Effect," IHEID Working Papers 02-2018, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:gii:giihei:heidwp02-2018
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    1. Salkever, David S., 1976. "The use of dummy variables to compute predictions, prediction errors, and confidence intervals," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 393-397, November.
    2. Kim Oosterlinck & John Landon-lane, 2006. "Hope Springs Eternal – French Bondholders and the Soviet Repudiation (1915–1919)," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 10(4), pages 507-535, December.
    3. Thorsten Janus, 2012. "Odious Debt in an Imperfect World," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(2), pages 305-317, May.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Venezuela; Odious Debt; Sovereign Default;

    JEL classification:

    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
    • K34 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Tax Law
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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